Futures positive as overseas markets rally and metals stay strong
The S&P/ASX 200 index (XJO) increased 112 points or nearly 2% to 6053 points on Wednesday with strong gains coming from the materials index as the miners cashed in on high base metals and iron ore prices, as well as the robust gold price.
Healthcare and IT stocks were also in favour as the sectors gained more than 2.7%.
This outstanding run looks set to continue on Thursday after strong performances in all overseas markets.
The ASX SPI200 index is up 22 points to 6053 points, also suggesting we are in for a positive day.
It was the Nikkei 225 that led Asian markets higher as it rallied 1.6% or 358 points to close at 22,905 points.
The Hang Seng was only up marginally, closing at 25,481 points.
After strong performances over recent weeks the Shanghai Composite finally gave up some ground, coming off 53 points to close at 3361 points.
UK and major European indices mirrored the ASX making gains of between 1.8% and 2%.
While the FTSE 100 started in positive territory, it was about midway through the session that it really put the foot down, finishing up 113 points or 1.8%.
The DAX increased from its previous close of less than 12,700 points to touch 13,000 points before closing at 12,930 points, up 1.8%.
This is the first time in nearly 5 months that the DAX has revisited the 13,000 point mark, and the index is now less than 7% off its all-time high.
The CAC 40 outperformed the rest of the region, increasing more than 2% or 101 points to close at 5109 points.
While the mood in the US wasn’t quite as bullish there were still some solid gains made across the indices.
The Dow and the S&P 500 both gained approximately 0.9% with the former finishing up 227 points at 26,870 points.
The NASDAQ continued to edge forward after Monday’s big fall, gaining 62 points or 0.6% to close at 10,550 points.
The Brent Crude Oil Continuous Contract rallied nearly 2% to close at US$43.79 per barrel.
Gold continues to look robust, pushing up towards US$1820 per ounce before closing at US$1814 per ounce.
After a strong rally, iron ore has levelled out in the vicinity of US$112 per tonne.
On the base metals front, copper retraced for a second day, finishing at US$2.91 per pound.
However, other base metals experienced some gains with nickel edging up nearly 1% to close at US$6.09 per tonne, just shy of the near six-month high that it struck last week.
Zinc also rallied 1% to close just shy of US$1.00 per pound, while lead was fairly flat, still hovering in the vicinity of US$0.83 per pound.
The Australian dollar is fetching US$0.70.